Inaugural Trifoliate Awards recognize Georgia chefs for culinary excellence

Gunter Seeger with kitchen staff at Günter Seeger NY. C0ntributed by Brian Bloom
Caption
Gunter Seeger with kitchen staff at Günter Seeger NY. C0ntributed by Brian Bloom

Six Georgia chefs are being honored for their culinary excellence as part of the inaugural Trifoliate Awards.

Conceived during the COVID-19 lockdown as an ongoing annual series, the awards “are intended to celebrate and give a platform to the leading voices who have emerged in this trying new reality,” according to a press release. “We honor them for work that is fresh and original, that delights their guests, inspires their peers, and pushes forward the meaning of Southern food.”

The honorees include:

Guenter Seeger, who was recruited to run the dining room in the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in 1986, later opening Seeger’s on West Paces Ferry Road. He’s returned to Atlanta after leaving for New York in 2007, with plans to open a new restaurant in the coming months.

Chef David Sweeney at his Seedy Bar stall at Freedom Farmer's Market. Mia Yakel/For The AJC
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Chef David Sweeney at his Seedy Bar stall at Freedom Farmer's Market. Mia Yakel/For The AJC

Credit: Mia Yakel/For The AJC

Credit: Mia Yakel/For The AJC

David Sweeney, who owned the now-shuttered Dynamic Dish on Edgewood Avenue and later worked as a caterer. He now lives in North Georgia and manufactures a range of nutritionally dense, seed-based products and mostly raw vegan dishes with David’s Seedy Bars line.

Pastry chef Claudia Martinez of Miller Union said she always likes to incorporate fruit and keep things light, and she often pays homage to her Venezuelan heritage. Styling by Claudia Martinez / Chris Hunt for the AJC
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Pastry chef Claudia Martinez of Miller Union said she always likes to incorporate fruit and keep things light, and she often pays homage to her Venezuelan heritage. Styling by Claudia Martinez / Chris Hunt for the AJC

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Claudia Martinez, who worked at Atlanta restaurants Restaurant Eugene and Atlas before serving as the executive pastry chef at Tiny Lou’s, where she was named a James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2020. She now serves in the same role at Miller Union in West Midtown.

ExploreRecipes: Bright flavors, seasonal fruit shine in desserts from Claudia Martinez

Parnass Savang, co-owner of Talat Market. / CONTRIBUTED BY BAILEY GARROT
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Parnass Savang, co-owner of Talat Market. / CONTRIBUTED BY BAILEY GARROT

Credit: BAILEY GARROT

Credit: BAILEY GARROT

Parnass Savang, who grew up helping out his parents at their Lawrenceville Thai restaurant. He worked at restaurants in New York City before returning to Atlanta and launching Talat Market as a pop-up at Gato Bizco in Candler Park, opening a brick-and-mortar iteration in 2020 in Summerhill.

Kennesaw native and former Sobban chef Brian So is opening farm-to-table restaurant Spring in Marietta. Aiden Thomas Hornaday
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Kennesaw native and former Sobban chef Brian So is opening farm-to-table restaurant Spring in Marietta. Aiden Thomas Hornaday

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Brian So, who worked at San Francisco restaurant before returning to Atlanta to work at One Eared Stag and Sobban. He opened Spring in Marietta in 2016. He’s been a James Beard Award semifinalist for Rising Star Chef and Best Chef: Southeast.

Joey Ward is executive chef of Southern Belle and Georgia Boy. CONTRIBUTED BY MIA YAKEL
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Joey Ward is executive chef of Southern Belle and Georgia Boy. CONTRIBUTED BY MIA YAKEL

Joey Ward, an Atlanta native who worked at Kevin Gillespie’s Woodfire Grill and Gunshow before launching his sister concepts Southern Belle and Georgia Boy in 2019.

The awards were created in partnership with the Farmhouse at Serenbe, and each of the award winners will host a dinner at the restaurant by the end of the year, in collaboration with Farmhouse chef Nicolas Bour and artist Kristin Genet. Though the events will vary, most will include cocktails, wine pairings and live performances.

The dinners will serve as a fundraiser for This Postage Stamp of Native Soil, a history and film project that explores the history of Chattahoochee Hills, “through its families, landscapes, tribes, and people,” according to the press release, with a documentary on the area expected to be released in 2022.

Winners were selected by former Atlanta Journal-Constitution food critic John Kessler and current AJC food and dining editor Ligaya Figueras, Atlanta Magazine writer Christiane Lauterbach and Farmhouse at Serenbe chef Nicolas Bour.

Click here for a full listing of Trifoliate Award dinners.

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